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Manahan Home looks to grow

Historical society raising money to buy building next door to museum

STERLING – The Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society hopes to buy a building next to the Lincoln-Manahan Home museum to use for educational activities.

The group needs to raise $85,000 by May 15 to buy the former C&E Glass building at 611 E. Third St., said Terry Buckaloo, historical society director.

“We have a bunch of ideas as far as usage, including classroom space for group tours through the Manahan Home,” Buckaloo said. “We would like to have special projects, speakers, music. We’ve got a whole long list of ideas.”

The building, now owned by the Bank of Paw Paw, has been on the market for a couple of years, he said.

Buckaloo also is preparing for Saturday’s season opening of the home, which will be open Saturday and Sunday afternoons through the summer.

The home also is geared to be an educational tool for area students. The goal is to get all area fourth-grade classes to take a field trip to the home, and an informational packet has been created and is sent to fourth-grade teachers before they bring their classes to tour.

The additional space the new building would provide could be used for learning activities that would supplement all tours, and to display historical items and provide space for a gift shop, he said.

Last year, more than 1,000 people toured the home, Buckaloo said, including 400 fourth-graders.

The Manahan Home also will host a stop on the Illinois chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association’s May 18 auto tour, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the famous road. The home is the only place along the highway Lincoln ever stayed, Buckaloo said. He spent the night in 1856.

“It’s a Lincoln site,” Buckaloo said. “Some of the places that have been saved have been saved because they are much more grandiose. This is an average person’s home.”

To tour or donate

The Lincoln-Manahan House, 607 E. Third St., will open for guided tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in the spring and summer, beginning Saturday.

The Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society restored the house, where Abraham Lincoln slept in 1856. The historical site depicts life in the mid-1800s.

Tours are free. Donations are welcome to help maintain the site.

Off-street parking is available.

Call the historical society at 815-622-6215 to donate to the effort to buy the former C&E Glass building and expand the museum, or for more information on the home.

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